What is the Breakpoints Calculation?

The Breakpoints analysis can be found under “Scenarios” -> “Breakpoints”. When a company exit event occurs (the company sells, gets acquired, goes public, etc.) the company must allocate the proper amount of money to each security class. The breakpoints calculation is a calculation of all of the dollar amount inflexion points where various securities begin to receive return on their shares from the exit event, or the points at which the rate of return changes.

For example, let’s say that an investor invested \$100 in a Series Seed round, and there is already a common shareholder on the cap table. At a liquidation preference of 1x, the investor would received every dollar up to the first \$100 dollars. So if the company sold for \$100, the investor would receive \$100. However after \$100, the common shareholder begins to receive a return for the shares he possesses. This means that at a sell price of \$101, the investor receives the first \$100, and the last \$1 is then split amongst the two. In this scenario, the first inflexion point or “breakpoint” would be at \$100, because that’s the point at which the common shareholder starts to receive value.